Soil Soil Less Growing Medium

Most folks at the grow store are doing some kind of grow medium. Homemade potting mix is one of the easiest DIY ways to save money.

The base holds your plant, water and air and can contain a nutrient charge. It contains a structure portion, water retaining portion and drainage portion. Without a charge, it is pH neutral and can be used with hydroponic nutrients. Here is one that I am currently using:

65% coco coir or peat
32% rice hulls, sand or perlite
3% vermiculite

Another easy variation is a slight charge from compost and makes a great super soil base. With peat, you may need to adjust pH with added nutrients, teas and feeds.

33% coco or peat
33% compost
33% rice hulls, sand or perlite

Composted pine bark can also be used for structure, but requires additional N supplementation. Tweak the ingredients to your watering style- Add more perlite/rice hulls if you want more drainage, etc.

Now let's talk about nutrients. Everyone knows Subcool's Super Soil, right? I tend to keep it simple and bump the nutrients with teas or feeds as needed. For example:

NEEM BASED RECIPE (1 Cubic Yard base mix)

Neem Cake 4-3-1.6 8 QT 21.2 lbs per CY
Cal-Phos 0-20-0 (20%ca) 2 QT 6.7 lbs per CY
Gypsum (32% ca) 3 QT 8.2 lbs per CY
Humic DG Humic acid 1/2 QT 1.2 lbs per CY

FRASS BASED RECIPE (1 Cubic Yard base mix)

Magnesium Sulfate 105 g
Potassium Sulfate 99 g
Insect Frass 4230 g
Cal Phos 705 g

CORNELL SOILLESS MIX (1 Cubic Yard base mix)

10 lbs. bone meal
5 lbs. ground limestone
5 lbs. blood meal

Be sure to moisten and compost well before use.

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